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Why should producers of bottled water enter The Aurora International Taste Challenge?

Superior products will be granted three, four (Gold) and five star (Double Gold) awards, to reward products with excellent taste. These producers will be able to display their award artwork on their product, in digital media and in print format for a period of one year from when the awards are granted, as long as the quality of the water does not change from that of the original sample, and dependent on the terms of a non-exclusive licence agreement signed by both parties. Trophy awards will also be granted to products that really excel in their special area.

We live in a world where water is considered a “generic” product. An award will prove that water is not just water, instantly setting you apart. Our judges work hard to identify the purest, best tasting and most refreshing water. Winners of The Aurora International Taste Challenge awards will enjoy media coverage, market exposure, and bragging rights for the quality of their product.

This is what the award artwork looks like. No physical awards or trophies are given.

As an extra value add, four star awards can be commuted to Gold awards, and 5 star awards to Double Gold awards, depending on your preference.

Maybe unknown today, but on everybody’s lips tomorrow.

We are proud to be partnering with the following companies to make the 2020 Aurora International Taste Challenge a big success.

About the bottled water challenge

The Aurora International Taste Challenge was established to recognise superior water and guide consumers on their path to purchasing the best water with confidence. This year, bottled water in every form, from still to sparkling to flavoured as well as other types, will be judged in South Africa by sommeliers, chefs and other food industry professionals. The goal is to identify and award the best-tasting water available to consumers.

While many consumers are brand-loyal, most would choose an alternative if they had access to fair product ratings. The Aurora International Taste Challenge will grant merit and trophy awards to exceptional food products readily-available worldwide. We are proud to be setting new quality standards in the food and beverage industry.

We live in a world where water is considered a “generic” product. An award will prove that water is not just water, instantly setting you apart.

Bottled water competition information

What sets one water apart from another?

Taste is the main criteria that sets waters apart from each other. Mouthfeel is also very important, together with water clarity. When smelling the water, it should be totally neutral with the absence of any strong flavours that could be off-putting.

In the end, the water’s taste and ability to refresh and quench a thirst will be crucial.

Can I use this award artwork for all the brands that this product is produced under?

The award artwork may only be used for the particular brand that was entered. If the company markets the exact same product under different brand names,  additional non-exclusive licences will be granted to be used for the additional brands the product is sold at, at the price of the original entry fee per brand.

Who will be judging the competition?

Water will be judged by sommeliers, chefs and other food industry professionals who have an intimate knowledge of taste and who will be able to discern superior products.

Do I get a certificate if my product is awarded?

An electronic certificate will be emailed to winning participants. This will be accompanied by a non-exclusive licence agreement that, after being signed by both parties and dependent on adherence to the stipulations of the agreement, will give the winners a non-exclusive licence to make use of the media kit, with various logos and award artwork on their product, in email signatures, digital and in print media for a period of one year from the time the awards are announced. No physical trophies or awards are given.

Entry fees and Dates
  • 17 March 2020 – Entries open and Early bird special of R950 excluding VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66) per entry.
  • 2 July 2020 – Normal entry fee of R1200 excluding VAT (approximately USD96 or EUR84) after this date.
  • 21 July 2020 – Late entries can be submitted for R1440 excluding VAT (approximately USD115 or EUR101) after this date.
  • 28 July 2020 – Entries close.
For how long can I use the award artwork?

The award artwork may be used on the brands that were awarded, and have a non-exclusive licence agreement signed by both parties, for a period of one year, subject to the terms of the non-exclusive licence agreement.

Exceptional waters will be eligible for trophy awards in the following categories:
  • Mineral Water
  • Spring Water
  • Prepared Water
  • Alkaline Water
  • Hydrogen Water
  • Water Produced From Air
  • Flavoured Water
  • Other Types of Water
Water categories:
  1. Prepared water
  2. Natural water
  3. Spring water
  4. Water produced from air
  5. Alkaline water
  6. Hydrogen water
  7. Flavoured water
  8. Other water
Other important information:
  • Each entry requires a minimum of 3 x containers comprising a minimum combined volume of 1500ml. Bottled water samples have to be in their final bottled form, and no tank samples are allowed.
  • One entry = one product. A single product may not be entered twice.

What Covid-19 protocols have you implemented, and does it amend any of your current rules and guidelines?

Because of the Coronavirus scourge we have a comprehensive Coronavirus / Covid 19 contingency plan that is posted on our website here.

In case the event cannot take place, it will be postponed to a later date, and if worse comes to worse all entries will be unconditionally refunded.

When do I send the samples after we entered?

Samples need to be delivered on the 3rd and 4th August 2020 between 9:00 and 16:00 at The Conference Centre, Joostenberg Deli, Stellenbosch South Africa.

You can make use of any courier, but we have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery. When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples to DHL Paarl, 35 Zandwyk Park, Old Paarl Road, Paarl, South Africa, for the attention of: “The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”.

Products from outside South Africa need the necessary time to clear customs. Also add the wording: “Samples of no commercial value – for attention The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. Contact Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

Products that are sent that have to maintain the cold chain, need to be packed accordingly, and the DHL overnight service can be used.

Late entries might not be accepted.

With regards to DHL and overnight delivery, how certain can I be that the sample receives the necessary urgency to deliver on time?

When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples to DHL Paarl, 35 Zandwyk Park, Old Paarl Road, Paarl, South Africa, for the attention of: “The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. Make sure you arrange with Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to make sure everything will be in order.

 Does taxes and custom fees only relate to imports?

Only samples send from outside of South Africa will accrue taxes, clearance and customs fees.

As you have partnered with DHL, do entrants get a reduced-price option?

Because DHL consolidates deliveries, the prices will be reduced. Make sure you arrange with Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 to get the necessary detail.

Overnight deliveries and deliveries from outside of South Africa will be at normal DHL rates.

Will you have a show for people / companies to attend if they are not entering the competition?

The Aurora International Taste Challenge is not a trade show or public event. Only the organisers and judges are present.

There is also no prize giving ceremony or trade/public tasting afterwards.

How do I enter and where do I get an entry form?

You can register online here and after registration enter online. Once you are registered, you can just go to this link here to enter products later.

At what stage do I pay for entries?

Payment must be done online before the close of entries.

You might be one of the bestselling waters for a good reason.

Awarded participants can use the supplied artwork and media kit in various ways to enhance the image of their superior products.

Timeline for the 2020 Competition

Competition Opens
17 March 2020


Early Bird Special Entry Fee
of R950 excl VAT (approximately USD76 or EUR66) applies

Normal Entry Fee applies
2 July 2020


Normal Entry Fee of
R1200 excl VAT
(approximately USD96 or EUR84) applies

Late entry fee
applies
21 July 2020

Late Fee is R1440 Excl VAT
(approximately USD115 or EUR101)

Entries Close
28 July 2020

Delivery of samples
3rd and 4th of August 2020

Results released
11th August 2020

Contacts and delivery of samples

A minimum of 3 x containers comprising a minimum combined volume of 1500ml are needed for samples. These samples need to be in their final bottled format, and no tank samples are allowed.

Participants may use any courier, but please ensure that samples are delivered to: The Conference Centre, Joostenberg Deli, Koelenhof Road, Stellenbosch, South Africa, between 9:00 and 16:00 on August 3rd and 4th, 2020. Late entries might not be accepted.

Attention: Celia Gilloway / Tel: +27 82 782 1977/ Email: celia@eventsbycelia.com

We have partnered with DHL to allow for timely delivery. When making use of DHL, please ensure you send your samples to: DHL Paarl, 35 Zandwyk Park, Old Paarl Road, Paarl, South Africa, for the attention of: “The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. Contact Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com  or phone her on +27 21 872 4717. Late entries might not be accepted.

Products from outside South Africa need the necessary time to clear customs. Also add the wording: “Samples of no commercial value – for attention The Aurora International Taste Challenge C/o Marijke Douglas”. Contact Marijke on Marijke.Douglas@dhl.com or phone her on +27 (0)21 872 4717 for more details.

For additional information contact Sanet van Heerden at hello@aurorachallenge.com. This competition is run by the Awards Show (Pty) Ltd.

Rules particular to bottled Water

Rules for bottled and flavoured water

  • All South African water must comply with the South African Department of Health’s Act no.54 of 1972 relating to Foodstuffs, cosmetics and disinfectants (https://www.gov.za/sites/default/files/gcis_document/201409/33219455.pdf ), as well as Act no.R.718. Of 28 July 2006. (http://www.enviroleg.co.za/acts/Foodstuffs, Cosmetics and Disinfectants/REGS/718-06 Bottled Water Regulations.pdf). All the local regulations pertaining to the production and selling of water needs to be complied to as demanded by the law of the country that the product is produced.
  • Bottled water participants must be distributors, importers, brokers, manufacturers, producers, or wholesalers of a consumer ready food product, that have a current Certificate of Acceptability for Food premises (regulation dated 30/07/1999 made in terms of the Health act 1977 (Act 63) issued by the local authorities or one issued to the manufacturer of the product. You may also require a Halaal Certification if you claim this on your product.
  • Every product must comply with laws and regulations that apply to its country of origin.
  • By entering the competition each entrant declares that each product entered is representative of the products available in the trade, and does not differ significantly from the product commercially available.
  • Products will only be accepted in the commercial packaging the product is sold.
  • Any product may only be entered once. The award artwork may only be used for the particular brand that was entered. If the company markets the exact same product under different brand names, additional non-exclusive licenses will be granted to be used for the additional brands at a fee.
  • Flavoured water is defined as water that is marketed as water, but was enhanced through the addition of various natural and artificial sweeteners, flavours, sugar or other enhancements. Flavoured water must have a sugar content of 80g/L or less for this competition.
  • Award certificates will be emailed to the winners together with non-exclusive license that is valid for one year dependent on stipulations of the agreement, and the signing of this agreement by both parties.
  • If at any time an awarded product experiences contamination of any kind, or a situation occurs as to change the water quality to such an extent that the water is no longer similar to the water that won an award, the award is rescinded, and may not be advertised or shown in conjunction with the product that won, as the water quality is not the same as that was entered. The moment an entrant becomes aware of circumstances that will change the taste or quality of the water, The Aurora International Taste Challenge must be notified by email within 48 hours.
  • A valid sample for entry comprise 3 x 500ml or equivalent, a completed online entry, plus a paid entry fee. Bottled water the samples must be in their final bottled form, and no tank samples are allowed.

 Rules for water in general

  • The person entering the competition on behalf of the institution will be held legally responsible for the legal authenticity of the sample.
  • Entries might be screened to ensure they are entered in the correct category, or to do a first tier evaluation. The Aurora International Taste Challenge reserves the right to change the category a product is entered for, or to create categories it deems necessary, without notification.